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How to Choose the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training near Phoenix Arizona

Phoenix Arizona LVN with older female patientOnce you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Phoenix AZ that will provide the proper training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. While cost and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let's look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.

What does an LPN or LVN Do?

Phoenix Arizona LVN greeting man on crutches at door

Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous tasks that they complete in the Phoenix AZ medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical assistance is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily work functions can include:

    • Measuring vital signs
    • Giving medications
    • Starting IV drips
    • Monitoring patients
    • Taking blood or urine samples
    • Maintaining patient records
    • Helping physicians or RNs with procedures

Along with their job duties being controlled by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Phoenix AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.

LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees

There are principally two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Phoenix AZ. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

Online LPN and LVN Programs

Phoenix Arizona LVN with older male nursing home patientAttending LPN programs online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Phoenix AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Things to Ask LPN and LVN Schools

Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Phoenix AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
 
  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Phoenix AZ.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Phoenix AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN schools you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Phoenix AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with local Phoenix AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Learn More About Phoenix LPN or LVN Nursing Training

Choose the Right Phoenix Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program

Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is important that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Phoenix AZ.



 

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